This new tequila brand comes from 100 percent blue agave grown in the highlands of Jalisco — and then comes a twist: All the tequilas are aged in Sauternes and 20-year-old Cognac casks, a big twist vs. the usual old Bourbon barrels in which most tequila is aged. The results are, in at least one case, exemplary.
Excellia Blanco Tequila – A misleading and cryptic tequila: Not bottled straight from the still but rested for a couple of weeks in wood. Good decision. The nose is bright agave, but the body is shockingly sweet and mellow. Lemon, vanilla, and custard notes. Smooth and creamy, with a little agave bite at the end. I’m impressed! A / $50
Excellia Reposado Tequila – Spends nine months in oak. Big wood notes here, but it’s tempered by some of the sweeter, citrus notes. Wood dominates here in a way that isn’t perfectly in balance. B+ / $60
Excellia Anejo Tequila – 18 months in oak. Powerful wood character here, with dark honey and vanilla notes and, surprisingly, more agave bite than either the blanco or the reposado. The finish is lasting and dessert-like, with chocolate and a bunch of cinnamon. Not the most nuanced anejo, but worthwhile. A- / $70
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